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Occurrence of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda, Angiostrongylidae) in Achatina fulica (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in Baixada Santista


There are two species of Angiostrongylus that can infect humans: Angiostrongylus costaricensis and Angiostrongylus cantonensis. The former causes abdominal angiostrongyliasis (Morera and Céspedes, 1971; Morera, 1973), the latter is the etiologic agent of eosinophilic meningoencephalitis, also called "rat lungworm" (Chen, 1935). The first case of human eosinophilic meningoencephalitis caused by A. cantonensis was first described in 1945. Since then, approximately 2,800 cases have been reported in thirty countries. A. cantonensis has been observed in Southeast Asia, South Pacific, Africa, India, Caribbean, Australia, North America, Jamaica and China. The two first cases of that zoonosis reported in Brazil were in Cariacica City (ES), in 2007, and more recently, two more cases in the State of Pernambuco. Eosinophilic meningoencephalitis is considered a zoonosis, which has the natural definitive host Rattus norvegicus, Rattus rattus and wild rodents. The natural intermediate hosts are several species of mollusks as Achatina fulica, Sarasinula marginata, Subulina octona and Bradybaena similaris. However, A. fulica, the most important intermediate host of A. cantonensis, is a tropical snail species native of Africa, whose differentiation probably occurred between the western and central regions of this continent, to the edges of forests. Its presence has been reported in many parts of Africa, Southeast Asia, Pacific Islands, Australia, Japan, Madagascar and more recently in the American continent. These mollusks are typical of tropic regions and easily adapt on climates alike. This makes Brazil a country with great potential for heliculture. The invasion by this species is an environmental concern in Brazil, as it grows out of control and ends up to competing with other snails of native wildlife. This may cause imbalance and loss of trophic diversity. Moreover, the absence of natural predators and high reproductive rates makes it necessary to monitor new outbreaks of this species distribution over the Brazilian territory. Agricultural pests and public health are the most environment-related concerns. This study proposes to investigate the presence of L3 larvae of A. cantonensis in mollusks Achatina, naturally infected in nine cities of the Baixada Santista Metropolitan Region: São Vicente, Santos, Praia Grande, Guarujá, Cubatão Bertioga, Peruíbe, Itanhaém and Mongaguá. The shells will be measured and weighted. The snails will be digested by the method of Wallace & Rosen (1969) and sedimentation, for six hours, by applying the Baermann method (Moraes 1948). After sedimentation, the material will be observed in bright field stereoscopic microscope for visualization of the larvae. The larvae morphology will be recorded by a computerized image analyser (QWin Lite 3.1), trough analysis of morphometric parameters. Molecular characterization will be performed with the aid of the Wizard Kit (Promega) from L3 of mollusk. Amplification of the transcribed spacer region of ribosomal DNA (rDNA-ITS2) will be performed using the primers NC1 (forward, 5 '- ACGTCTGGTTCAGGGTTGTT-3') and NC2 (reverse, 5 '- TTAGTTTCTTTTCCTCCGCT-3'). (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
GUERINO, LAURA ROCHA; PECORA, IRACY LEA; MIRANDA, MARCEL SABINO; AGUIAR-SILVA, CRYSLAINE; CARVALHO, OMAR DOS SANTOS; CALDEIRA, ROBERTA LIMA; DA SILVA, REINALDO JOSE. Prevalence and distribution of Angiostrongylus cantonensis (Nematoda, Angiostrongylidae) in Achatina fulica (Mollusca, Gastropoda) in Baixada Santista, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical, v. 50, n. 1, p. 92-98, JAN-FEB 2017. Web of Science Citations: 3.

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